The checkout girl at the grocery store gave me a fistful of change. I was trying hurriedly to corral all the coins into my coin purse when the zipper jammed. “Murphy’s law” I muttered to myself. I could hear the muffled exasperation of the man behind me, and I didn’t want to hold up the line any further, so I maneuvered my half open purse and my two bags of groceries down to the end of the counter. There I continued my battle with that obstinate zipper ….
The woman behind me that man paid for her items and noticed my frustration. “Let me help you move to that empty spot over there” she said pointing to the empty counter next to me. She said, “it might be a little easier to manage without feeling so rushed. I’ll grab your bags for you.”
Well, she looked young enough to be my daughter, and must have thought me old or feeble minded, and of course, I was thinking to myself, ” I might be disabled and unsteady on my feet, but I’m still capable of taking care of myself and my groceries, thank you very much!”
I was about to refuse her help, as I do with most everyone who offers to help me with anything, but just then that darn zipper slipped off track again and caught my sweater in it. I thought to myself, “well shoot, what next Lord?”
The young woman had grabbed my bags and moved them over, and then without any warning she threw her arms around my neck and gave me a quick kiss on my cheek. I think she was as startled by that as I was because she suddenly stepped back looking flustered. “Oh gosh, I’ve left lipstick on your cheek” she said, as she quickly grabbed a tissue to wipe it off. Then all of a sudden her eyes filled with tears and she told me, “I lost my mom a week ago today.”
I was left speechless. “I’m so sorry,” I replied and it was my turn to give her a hug. We stood there together for a moment, no doubt to others gaze, tears in both of our eyes. Then she squeezed my hands and went on her way. The time elapsed?? Maybe three minutes, tops. And of course, right then my zipper became uncaught and slid easily right back on track …
Absolutely nothing happens in God’s world by mistake, including stuck zippers. As I gathered my bags and went walking on home, I thought about what had just happened. My Lord had just touched a place in me that I hadn’t even realized needed a touch. My strained relationship with my own daughters has left me lonely and isolated, and often feeling forgotten. But this young woman’s impulsive gesture touched me as much, if not more, than hers I dare say.
And I believe the Lord orchestrated the whole thing. I was happy I could be her mama for a moment, and I received the sweetest kiss of a daughter. She might have wiped off the lipstick, however, she left an indelible imprint on my heart …..
The lesson learned? Invaluable. When someone wants to help you; let them. They might need it even more than you do ….
God bless you today 🌸